FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Ten games against Southeastern Conference opponents, as well as a total of 22 contests against teams that reached the postseason a year ago, highlight the 2013 Southern Miss baseball schedule released Thursday.
For fourth-year Golden Eagle coach Scott Berry, this might be the most challenging slate his team has faced since taking over the reins of the program in 2010.
“We open up with four games against SEC foes and it doesn’t seem to get any easier from there as we have put together a very solid schedule for this spring,” Berry said. “We have a young, but experienced team and we look forward to the challenges that we have ahead of us as we continue to work extremely hard to get back to the NCAA Tournament.”
The Golden Eagles, which finished 32-24 a season ago and missed its first NCAA postseason berth in 10 seasons, opens its campaign strong as it welcomes SEC newcomer Missouri to Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field for a three-game series, Feb. 15-17.
Along with Missouri, Southern Miss plays SEC foes Alabama home-and-home, Auburn at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, LSU at Zephyr Field in Metairie and Ole Miss in Hattiesburg as well as at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The Golden Eagles will also face Mississippi State in the two schools only meeting of the year at Trustmark Park. In addition, the school will also face non-conference 2012 NCAA tournament participants Louisiana-Monroe, Missouri State, along with league foes East Carolina, Rice, UCF and UAB, which reached postseason play last spring.
Following the season-opening Missouri series, the Golden Eagles travel to Alabama for a one-game trip against the Crimson Tide on Feb. 19. Southern Miss then plays host to the Southern Miss Invitational which will feature Eastern Illinois (Feb. 22), Missouri State (Feb. 23) and Alcorn State (Feb. 24), before taking to the road for five games against Louisiana-Monroe (Feb. 26) for one game, Troy (Mar. 1-3) for a three-game set and South Alabama (Mar. 6) for a solo contest.
After a three-game set at home against Louisiana-Lafayette (Mar. 8-10), the Golden Eagles make their first of two regular-season trips to Trustmark Park in Pearl to face Mississippi State (Mar. 12). The Golden Eagles then play host to Southland Conference foe Central Arkansas (Mar. 15-17) for three games, before traveling to Mobile to take on Auburn (Mar. 20), as it will be the second-straight year the two schools will play during the regular season.
Conference USA play then gets started for Southern Miss as Rice comes to Hattiesburg for a three-game set (Mar. 22-24), before the Golden Eagles also entertain South Alabama (Mar. 26) for a single game.
Southern Miss next travels to UCF, Easter weekend, in a Thursday-Saturday series (Mar. 28-30), before starting the month of April against LSU in the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Classic, on the 3rd at Zephyr Field.
The Golden Eagles then play five-straight games against schools from the city of New Orleans, starting with a three-game set at home against Tulane (Apr. 5-7). USM then takes on the University of New Orleans on the road on Apr. 9, and then entertains the Privateers (Apr. 10) the following day at Pete Taylor Park.
Marshall then comes to town for three games (Apr. 12-14), before the Golden Eagles go on the road to Pearl to face Ole Miss (Apr. 16) and then to Memphis for a C-USA set (Apr. 19-21). After a mid-week home contest at home against Alabama (Apr. 24), Southern Miss entertains UAB for three (April 26-28), and then Louisiana-Monroe (Apr. 30) for a single affair.
The squad starts the final month of the regular season at East Carolina (May 3-5), before the program finishes the home schedule with a three-game, non-conference slate against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (May 10-12) and then its final home game against Ole Miss (May 14).
The regular season ends at Houston (May 16-18) with a C-USA series, before the Golden Eagles head to the Conference USA Tournament, May 22-26.